Summer has finally arrived! Congrats Class of 2017! Go Cougs! Whether you have just graduated or finished school for the summer, we are all happy to be out! Now that it is summer it is a great time to land an internship. Internships are great way to gain workplace and leadership experience. Although not all internships are paid they are always a great way to get one step ahead in the workforce. Most career fields are very competitive especially my industry, the fashion industry. However an internship will provide the experience and networks to improve anyones credentials and make them a stronger candidate for future jobs.
I will be starting my internship this summer when I return from Milan. Although this is my first internship I strongly recommend doing more than one. Essentially the more internships you do the more experience you gain. In some college majors such as mine, Apparel Merchandising, internships are required before receiving their diploma. Undergrads in my program (Apparel Merchandising, Design, and Textiles) typically complete their internships their after Junior or Senior year. My friend and fellow WSU alumna member, Keena Hudson, is one undergrad who decided to do her internship her Junior year. She took interest in Diane Von Furstenberg’s Technical Design/Production internship. When I asked her why she picked DVF she said, “I really liked what the company stood for, women’s empowerment and growth. This company was started by a strong female entrepreneur, Diane herself. I also really liked how the company is involved in charity efforts to promote women’s leadership.” But of course, I had to find out more!
Getting to intern at DVF in New York City would be any fashion major’s dream! Like myself, many of you are probably wondering how Keena landed an internship with such a legendary company. When I asked her she said, “I actually had to email a DVF assistant about internships there. I looked through the website and found contact info. I really just googled companies I liked and internships available.” Keena told me a lot about her experience at DVF. She expressed that the most valuable things she learned was “learning to know when to ask for help and advice.” She also said she realized that “it’s very important to stay connected with your coworkers and the people who mentor you. They have a lot of connections on their own and are a great first connection.” I asked Keena what advice she would give to future interns, she stated, “I advice students to have a website of all the things they did and learned as an undergrad and also to be very diligent in applying to internships. Keep your options open and apply everywhere. Every internship experience is worth it no matter the size of the company.”
Thanks to Google contacting the right people to land an internship at DVF or any luxury brand is easy. Being diligent in applying to internships is the key! A strong application and interview is also needed to actually get the position of course. Luckily for you I have a few interview tips that have helped me land my internship and past jobs!
1. Research the company you are interviewing for. Companies are looking for candidates who know about the company and have genuine interest in being a part of it. It always good to stay up to date with what’s going on in your industry. nrf.com is a good reference for the fashion industry.
2. Practice the S.T.A.R. (Situation, Task, Action, Result) Method. Behavioral-based questions are asked a lot in interviews. The interviewer wants to get a good idea of how you interact with others and handle situations. Google the S.T.A.R. Method for more info!
3. Refresh your memory of past or sample interview questions. You can never be too prepared. Refreshing your memory of interview questions will help you have an idea of what things are important to mention about yourself and not feel so nervous.
4. Boost your confidence! Convince yourself that you have already got the job. Confidence is a huge key in being a strong candidate.
5. Brag about yourself! An interview is the time to really sell yourself as the top candidate for the job. Don’t get too carried away of course. You want to make yourself memorable, coachable and qualified!
I hope these tips helped! Let me know what interview-prep techniques work best for you!
Every summer DVF has company parties. In 2016 (the year Keena interned there) it was at the Statue of Liberty. Keena was actually able to meet Diane herself and walk up to the statues crown level. It was an exclusive event for DVF even though the statue had been closed previously.
Photo Courtesy of Keena Hudson